‘Once Upon a Time’ in review: How can we be grumpy about this one?

Can Grumpy be redeemed?

It may have taken us just about fourteen episodes to do so, but we are finally starting to get hooked into “Once Upon a Time.” Are we still gagging every time we see David on the screen? Sure, and this along with Mary Margaret and the standoffish nature of Emma are still some of the biggest issues with this series.

Nonetheless, executive producers Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis proved yet again this week that no one is really better when it comes to guest stars and supporting roles. Although this week’s episode could have very well been classified as being a “story of the week” thanks to the majority of the plot involving new characters, it still felt remarkably fresh and meaningful. We learned the story of how a dwarf born out of an egg (yes, we never saw that coming) named Dreamy ended up becoming Grumpy, and (as is often the case with this show) love was to blame. He ended up falling in love with a fairy named Nova (Joss Whedon staple Amy Acker, playing the sort of character she’s not used to tackling), but then abandoning her to return to the mines after some words from Nova’s “teacher” (who may just be the meanest teacher ever) persuaded him into believing she would have a better life that way.

Thankfully, the Storybrooke plot had a bit more hope to it, as Grumpy’s counterpart Leroy worked to help Nova’s Astrid keep her nunnery afloat courtesy of selling some candles. Did he pull a few unethical strings to make it happen? Definitely — and he even lied once to her face about it. While Leroy may be the town drunk, he showed some positive intentions here and a good heart. Are we unsure how he can ever been with someone who is a nun? Yes, but we have to at least give him some credit for trying.

For those of you who demand serialized satisfaction, there were at least a few bones thrown in your direction. We saw Regina and Sidney work to frame David as the responsible party in Kathryn’s disappearance, which may actually mark the first time all season that David looks like a heel for something he didn’t do. We also had a brief cameo from Emilie de Ravin’s character of Belle, who took a brief moment off from dealing with her post-Rumpelstiltskin heartbreak to tell our lead dwarf this week to follow his heart. (Too bad it didn’t work.)

Overall, there are probably some cynics out there who are going to find this week’s story with its message about “dreams coming true” to be a bit hokey and possibly unnecessary unless there are some plans to incorporate some of these characters in the future. However, we rather enjoyed it far more than last week’s somber “divorce hour” — and we already hope that producers are giving Acker a call about some future appearances.

What did you think about this episode?

Photo: ABC

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